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    1. #1
      Puppy
      jenebekka's Avatar
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      Family troubles with puppy

      Hello, I'm not sure where to post this and I don't know how anyone could help me at this point. I'm looking for any tips you may have to get through this difficult phase.

      A little background on me. I lost my chocolate lab in August at almost 15 years old due to the usual aging issues. I was and still am heartbroken over this. My chocolate girl, Hershey, was as wild as she could be as a puppy. I went through the usual tough period of lab puppyhood, lost a few articles of clothing, dealt with some scratches on my floors, etc. The only difference then is that I was married to someone else and had no children at the time when she was so wild.

      Fast forward to now, I have remarried, have a 10 year old stepson and a three year old daughter. Hershey (and me) was in their lives for the last four years. Of course, as a senior, she was calm, didn't destroy anything, or generally cause any problems whatsoever, She was there to love and protect at all times. I miss her like crazy. When she passed this past August, my husband and I agreed that we wanted another dog and fairly soon. He wanted to adopt a 2 or 3 year old Golden Retriever. However, I've always had labs in my heart and longed for another one. My love for dogs and labs in particular runs deeper than my husband will ever understand. Therefore, he gave me (he said) his support to adopt a lab puppy. I started my search and found a litter of yellow labs. There were some things special about this litter, the timing of when they were born to the connection I had with the breeder. I just felt deep in my heart, while it was still difficult without Hershey, that it was time to have another dog in our home. I am the type of person that can't go too long with a dog by my side.

      I was fully aware of how difficult it would be to have a lab puppy. However, I completely underestimated how my family would react. My daughter is still scared of our yellow girl Bella. Her nipping stage is slowing but she is still wild and can be the normal lab puppy "out of control" at times. To help deal with this, I've hired a trainer and we are still working but it's not happenign overnight. It's going to take time. I'm confident my daughter and Bella will be fine together. But as I said, it takes time. Until then, Bella stays in our kitchen most of the time with a clear view into our family room. Here's where it gets sooo difficult for me. My husband is not fond of Bella as he ignores her and gets irritated at her puppy behaviour. He's only had older dogs in his past and thinks Bella is abnormal which she most certainly is not. My husband can take Bella for minutes at a time before pushing her back to me. He leaves her in her crate when he is home. In fact, I've come home to Bella sitting in her urine because my husband didn't take her out and she waited forever until she could no longer hold it. It breaks my heart to watch her try to get his attention and he just turns his back. It breaks my heart to the core. I don't know what to do about this. I didn't expect it to be so bad.

      My stepson doesn't like Bella at all either and complains anytime she comes around him. I'm working on the jumping, etc. and have mostly stopped it with me. Yet, she gets excited with him and jumps, pulls on his clothing, etc. (I am working with a trainer on this specifically right now). My stepson generally wants nothing to do with Bella and expectations are to crate her whenever he is in the kitchen. I don't know what to do about this. It's hurtful to watch her try to love him (in her crazy lab puppy way) to be rejected CONSTANTLY. I'm guessing Bella will figure it out someday and completely ignore him all together.

      With all of the family issues, all of Bella's care falls on me. I was prepared for this. I just didn't expect the family to dislike her so much. It's so unfair. Bella is a sweetheart and has normal lab energy. She just wants her belly rubbed or her chin scratched. Bella wags her tail constantly. I am so hurt that my family members feel the way they do. I completely underestimated what would happen when we brought Bella home, this was an error on my part. I feel like my husband is on a mission to prove his point that we should have adopted an older dog.

      I alternate between being so hurt and being very angry and resentful of Bella's treatment. One day when she does calm down, completely stop the nipping, and respond to all of the training, my husband and stepson will probably want to be around her then. Yet, they don't mind being so cruel right now. this makes me so angry but ultimately, it will be good for Bella, someday, probably 2 or 3 years from now.

      Any ideas or suggestions?? There is no way I would put Bella in another home. I love her very much. She has attention from me constantly. I work at home most days of the week and have the capacity and time to love and cherish her. I guess I am too sensitive or something...it just hurts to watch this go on in my family when we have this beautiful and loving family member. I suppose I need to remember that not everyone in the world is wired to love dogs or animals in general as deeply.

      Thank you for letting me write this...please be gentle as this is very difficult for me.

      Jenny

    2. #2
      Senior Dog
      ChoppersDad's Avatar
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      I do not know too many 10 year old boys that do not like puppies, but he can be forgiven because of his age. Your husband should not take his frustrations out on the puppy. Your puppy is just being a puppy. Your husband sounds like he needs training on how to take care of a puppy. Please talk to him and explain your feelings. Although, I would not let him know you are talking about him behind his back on this forum. That will surely piss him off.

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    4. #3
      Senior Dog
      doubledip1's Avatar
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      If my husband acted towards Luna the way you say your husband does towards Bella, he would be out of the house and sleeping at a friend's.
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    6. #4
      Senior Dog
      ZoeysMommy's Avatar
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      I will be as gentle as I can be. I recommend you rehome Bella. She deserves love and attention from all family members. She does not deserve to sit in her own urine, that is disgusting and cruel

      Or kick the husband out. My husband wouldn't be around if he treated an animal that way.

      Sad that a 10 year child doesn't like the puppy either, seems his Dad rubbed off on him

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    8. #5
      Senior Dog
      Jax's Mom's Avatar
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      Your in a tough spot, I also can forgive the son because of his age but even then not totally. Agreed the husband's actions are far worse. I imagine you talked it over and made the final ok for a puppy. If so he needs to talked to and fast. It's like treating a baby mean because it's not an adult. Be firm and honest. This will prove what kind of person he really is. I pray it works out for you all, especially for Bella.

    9. #6
      Senior Dog
      SunDance's Avatar
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      Your daughter I can understand...it'll take time and maturity for both of them.

      Your stepson is following his chosen role model and unfortunately that's your husband.

      I don't want to bad-mouth your husband so I'll just say that if my husband ever acted deliberately negatively to any animal in this house, he'd be finding another place to live. Absentmindedness I can handle...and do, believe me....I think my husband was born with dementia (trust me, I'm not making light of dementia). But cruelty...uh uh. Your husband didn't want the puppy....I get that. But nothing here is Bella's "fault" and a big-time conversation with your husband...including how he will talk to your stepson...is in order.

      Dogs pick up far more than we give them credit for....you don't know how much bad stuff she's aware of and absorbing...it could easily affect her personality around people (either in specific or in general).

      So...conversation and stand your ground so that no one takes advantage of your being "too sensitive".

      Good luck.
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    10. #7
      Senior Dog
      Happy
       
      POPTOP's Avatar
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      Time to have a heart-to-heart with your husband. What he is doing is inexcusable. Then the two of you, of the same mind, have a talk with your son.

      I just wonder if your husband is still mourning the loss of Hersey and afraid of getting to close to a new puppy, afraid of being hurt again.

    11. #8
      Senior Dog
      ChoppersDad's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by POPTOP View Post
      Time to have a heart-to-heart with your husband. What he is doing is inexcusable. Then the two of you, of the same mind, have a talk with your son.

      I just wonder if your husband is still mourning the loss of Hersey and afraid of getting to close to a new puppy, afraid of being hurt again.
      No way that is the case. Fear of getting too close is no excuse for animal cruelty.

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    13. #9
      Senior Dog
      Tanya's Avatar
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      time for a serious family meeting. starting with the adults first. Then depending on the decision, a second meeting with the kids. Honestly your puppy is what, 4-5 months? things may get much worse as they hit 7-8 months and their needs increase and they get even bigger.

      You need to be realistic during the conversation with the husband about if this is the right environment for a puppy. See if he's willing to work with you. If not, I agree returning her to the breeder is the best bet for the puppy, and the sooner the better really (easier when they are younger). You have to put the needs of the puppy first and the analyze the reality of the family being able to provide that (the entire family, NOT just you) first. As hard as that may be.

      You mentioned having a trainer come to the home, how did that go? Have you done puppy classes?

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    15. #10
      Real Retriever
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      I went through some similar times as you when Sophie was a pup, but not to the point of her being left to pee in her crate. If that happened I'd be happily single right now!!

      It sure is a trying time when puppy is, well, being a puppy and others in the house are going through their own issues and taking it out on poor puppy. However, there's no excuse for being a cruel asshole to an innocent animal. Puppy deserves better and so do you.
      Sophie: Born July 28, 2014
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